In case you're just tuning in to reality today, the federal government's closed.
Well, kind of -- things like military paychecks, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments are still expected to be doled out. Border Patrol's still operating, so is the Postal Service, and if you're accused of a federal crime, you still have to go to court.
Some things in Arizona won't be operating, like national parks, but we have five ways you can beat the shutdown around here:
5.) Mouth Off to Your Congressman
This is a long-shot, but you know who's still working during the government shutdown? Your congressman. They allegedly listen to their constituents, so if you've ever felt the need to call your congressman's office and demand he or she not contribute to the jackassery that shuts down a federal government, now might be a good time for that.
4.) Free Vacation for Some Federal Workers
Note to Arizona's approximately 40,000 federal workers: Furlough is another way to say "unpaid vacation." If you get furloughed, throw all your papers in the air, do some doughnuts in the parking lot, and start your vacation.
3.) Get a Job
Just a wink and a nudge to business owners and our undocumented friends -- E-Verify doesn't work during a government shutdown. You're on your own when the government's back, though.
2.) Visit State Parks
In Arizona, the biggest deal about the government shutdown seems to be that federal parks will be closed, which includes the Grand Canyon -- arguably the most important tourist attraction in the state. Good news: Arizona has some great state parks, and places to camp in case you get kicked out of a federal park. Most everything is business as usual for hunters and fishermen, too.
1.) Visit the Grand Canyon
Surprise! Despite the huge worry that the shutdown ruins trips to the Grand Canyon, you can still go to the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon West is owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, and they've confirmed that they're still open. Even though it pales in comparison to the park, it's an alternative. Grand Canyon West also includes the SkyWalk, the glass walkway that extends over the canyon. Also, if you have a few bucks, there's nothing from stopping you from getting a helicopter tour of the whole Grand Canyon.
Although your life's probably not ruined by the government shutdown, things could get annoying after a while. The Washington Post is compiling shutdown-related information, which you can find here.
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